The Real Estate Encyclopedia
Give Yourself More Time - Spring Cleaning for REALTORS®
Category - Real Estate Information Sources - Real Estate Articles
Aliso Viejo, CA, Mar. 30th, 2005 – As the days grow longer and the earth begins to warm after her frosty winter chill, trees start sprouting new buds and delicate green shoots poke their heads through the soil. Nature’s reawakening is a reminder to us that there is actually an end to the long winter months, and that spring is but a few days or weeks away. The energy of the reemerging sun and the promise of summer sparks many to prepare their homes for the breezy days of spring; cleaning out cobwebs, dusting off bookshelves, and getting rid of clutter. As real estate professionals and independent businessmen and women, this is also a prime time to clean off that buried desk and start fresh.

Whether you work from a home office, rent space from your broker, or run your own firm, chances are your space and your mental attitude could benefit from a little sprucing up for spring. Follow these easy guidelines from to get to the bottom of that document stack on your desk and ready yourself and your space for the busy coming months.

Prepare – Most of us deal with weekly, monthly, or yearly recurring items that require our attention. Get ahead of the game by creating a master calendar for these items. It can be a calendar in Microsoft Outlook, a desk calendar, or a laminated wall calendar; whatever works for you. As you go through the papers on your desk, notice any documents that pertain to membership dues, taxes, association fees, etc. Mark the potential due dates of these items on your master calendar.

Start Big, Go Small – So there’s a stack or two, (or three!) on your desk of various paper items. Where to start? Start big. Get 3 containers. Label the first “Toss”. Label the second “File”. Label the third “Move”. Have a notepad & pen ready. Now go through each paper piece by piece. If it can be tossed, toss it. If it needs to be filed, or needs a new file created for it, write the name of the file it should go into on the paper itself or on a post-it, and put it in the “File” container. If it’s a new file, write down on your notepad the name of the new file. If it’s a document that needs to go to an assistant, co-worker, client, superior, or needs to be archived in storage, write on the document or a post-it where it needs to go, and put in it in the “Move” container.

Make way for the new – Take your list of new file names and create new hanging or folder files with those titles. Some fililng tips: always use legal-sized filing cabinets – documents in the real estate industry tend to be larger than standard sizes. Also consider color-coding your files according to the type of file: red for urgent, green for customers, blue for contracts.

File it! – Now that your filing infrastructure is in place, and each of your documents is labeled, you can quickly and easily file all those documents in the appropriate places.

Move it! – What about those documents that need to be passed on? Since you’ve got each one labeled with who the document needs to go to, distribute immediately any documents going to individuals who are in your office. If the item is to be mailed, put it in a “To Mail” stack. If you’ll be mailing the item yourself, attach the proper size envelope & postage behind the document with a paper clip so it’s easy for you to assemble once at the post office or mailing center. What if it doesn’t need to be mailed for awhile? An accordion-style folder with pockets for each day of the month is an excellent way to keep track of things that need to go out on a timely basis.

Stay on top of it! – Now that you’ve conquered the paper dragon, you’ve got to keep him in his place. The best way to do this is to resolve to touch each piece of paper only once. Toss it, file it, or move it. No exceptions! Be ruthless. Don’t use paper as your security blanket. If you have an electronic copy of it somewhere – toss it. Sometimes you need to touch something more than once due to ongoing projects. In that case, create a file for pending projects that’s within close reach of your desk. As paper comes in, it goes into the project file and doesn’t languish on your desk. When the project is over, you take the entire file and file it away from your desk for reference, and create your new “pending” project file.

Develop habits – Once you’ve cleared your desk of the reams of accumulated paper, it’s the perfect time to establish new habits that will be much easier to maintain. Resolve to spend the last 10 minutes of every day filing away any piece of paper that has come your way during the day. If you do this on an ongoing basis, 10 minutes will probably be a lot more time than you’ll ever need. Then you can use the remaining time to make a list of what tasks you need to accomplish the following day. You’ll be surprised how a little organization can actually free up your time!

Check out more great ideas for your business at:


External Links
Real Estate Information Sources - Real Estate Articles
Home   |   About Us   |   Contact Us   |   Patrons   |   FAQ's   |   Site Map
© 2008 - All Rights Reserved.
Thank you for visiting Real Estate Wiki - the leading dictionary, directory, encyclopedia and glossary for the real estate and mortgage industries .